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The Harvard-Westlake Chronicle

The Student News Site of Harvard-Westlake School

The Harvard-Westlake Chronicle

The Student News Site of Harvard-Westlake School

The Harvard-Westlake Chronicle

Boys’ soccer makes history with back-to-back Mission League titles

Printed with permission of Eric Dearborn
Micah Rossen ’25, JT Federman ’24 and Kevin Chen ’25 celebrate after scoring a goal. The team won back-to-back Mission League Titles, after winning their first championship in 25 years last season.

The boys’ soccer team made history on Senior Night, winning their second consecutive Mission League title in 25 years in a 3-1 home win over Crespi Carmelite High School on Jan. 29.

Seniors Josh Barnavon ’24, Spencer Casamassima ’24, Nathan Casamassima ’24, JT Federman ’24, Andrew Khatchatourian ’24 and Tyler Ullrich ’24 were honored before the game and in a banquet afterwards for their time in the program.

Striker Theo Ottosson ’25 scored the team’s first two goals, both in the first half. He scored his first goal off of a corner pass delivered from Federman, which he headed in near the right post in the 26th minute.

His second came only two minutes later, when Federman cleared the ball across the field, and the Crespi defender could not ground it on a first touch. Ottosson sprinted down the field, stole the ball, dribbled it past both defenders and got past the goalie on a one-on-one attack. Ottoson said the steal to a goal was the result of an aggressive decision he had decided to make.

“Something that the coaching staff emphasizes is taking a chance,” Ottosson said. “I was pressing by myself, but I tried to read the defender, and he played it to his center back. I read that movement, and I was able to intercept the pass and go to the goal with my pace.”

Striker Micah Rossen ’25 would score the team’s third goal on a pass from Tyler Park ’25 in front of the goal, to add another point to the lead. Crespi would score their only goal in the second half off of a penalty shot.

With the win over the Celts, the boys’ soccer team has now acquired back-to-back league titles for the first time in their program’s history.

Last year, the team ended a 25-year long drought by winning their first Mission League since 1998. But later that season, the team only reached the second round of the California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) Southern Section Division 4 Playoffs, losing 3-2 to Glendale High School.

Now, the Wolverines are expected to make Division 1 playoffs and have been recognized on the CIF watchlist to possibly qualify for the Open Division. Earlier this season, the team lost to Open Division contender Servite High School in the SoCal Showcase 2-1.

In an interview with HWTV after the game, Rossen said the team has prioritized their bonds and ability to work together cohesively this year.

“These last two seasons especially, it’s been our team chemistry,” Rossen said. “We hang out every day. We know each other well and we love each other. So on the pitch, we connect better. Everyone’s moving and everyone knows what to do.”

Similarly, Ottosson said that their commitment to each other has helped bring them to a high level of success.

“We laugh together, and we cry together,” Ottosson said. “It’s just being a family, really, that contributes so much to our success.”

Looking ahead to CIF, Ottosson said that the team is ready to show grit against any team, whether it be in the Open Division or Division 1.

“It’s definitely going to be difficult,” Ottosson said. “But we’re ready for the challenges because we’re a team that knows that we have a lot of heart. We’ll fight harder than any other team out there. Just because they’re more talented or more technical, in the end, we just know we’re going to work harder than them.”

The Wolverines play on the road at Loyola High School on Jan. 31 in their penultimate regular season game. They beat the team 2-1 in a home game earlier in the season.

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